In my twenty-one (soon to be twenty-two) years on this planet I have made my fair share of friends. I have also lost contact with the majority of this fair share of friends. Am I sad about it? No. Do I regret those friendships? No. Would I try to rekindle them again? Probably not.
People see friendships as something you’ll always have. Once you’re friends, you will always be friends and I find that, frankly, a little absurd. My closest group of friends (there are five of us) are the ones I’ve known since I was 13. We stay in contact regularly and try to meet up as often as we can and before we start missing each other. We do that because we like each other even when we don’t.
I then have the group of friends who I’ve met recently, through my NCTJ or university, who I try and stay in contact with fairly regularly and I have one or two childhood friends that even though I don’t stay in contact with, we’ll always be friends and when we meet up – it’s like it always has been because we grew up together and bonds like that are just too darn strong.
Then there are the other friends who I was really close to but lost along the way. Through a lack of staying in touch, through a falling out, or just through a natural occurrence or our lives taking different paths and us not feeling it was worth the effort to continue those friendships. That doesn’t make the friendship we did have any less special and it doesn’t take away from everything we shared while we were friends but, like many human relationships, some have their best by dates and there’s no point trying to deny that.
I would not take back any of the friendships I had and lost. I learnt a lot from them and even the ones that ended badly had their fabulous moments that are now a part of the fabric of my life. It doesn’t mean I want to rekindle those friendships even those that didn’t end on bad terms but just fizzled out. I believe they did so for a reason and if you stopped trying then there’s no point flogging a dead horse.
It’s nice to keep in touch and say hi once in a while if you cross paths again but there’s no point pretending to be back in the golden years of the friendship you once had. Just because you are no longer close to someone doesn’t detract from the fact you once were.
It sounds horribly superficial but like clothes there are those you keep forever because they are too much a part of your life to let go, there are those pieces of clothes that you once were obsessed by and completely loved but are now ready to give away to charity and let it be enjoyed by someone else and there are those that you keep but never really wear apart from every once in a while when it feels good to be nostalgic.
It doesn’t mean you’ll look back on the pictures of you wearing the clothes you gave away and shudder that you actually tried it, and you shouldn’t remember those clothes and regret them happening – they were right for the time, they worked then, and they made you happy in that moment. They stopped doing that and it meant letting them go was the best thing but it doesn’t mean you need to go back to the charity shop and buy it again to try once more. You’re not the same. Things change. People grow and relationships will sometimes have to drift, break and end as a result. It’s no bad thing, just a part of human life.